Corporate fundraising is a great way for companies to raise money for charitable donations, cause marketing programs, community resources, or in support of a partner non-profit organization. Corporate fundraising initiatives have been around for decades, but with increasing awareness about global warming, depletion of natural resources, and other global environmental and poverty issues, companies are becoming more conscious of the effects their business has on our global world. For this reason, many companies now invest in corporate fundraising initiatives and cause marketing programs in an effort to give-back and be more sustainable in their business practices.
Regardless of the purpose behind the corporate fundraiser, there are a number of considerations your team will need to review in order to make the most of your corporate fundraising campaign. Below are some basic guidelines that may help you in your planning efforts. You may want to refer to our fundraising tips for more detailed guidelines to help your organization maximize fundraising results.
Planning Your Corporate Fundraising Event
Launching a corporate fundraising campaign may feel a bit overwhelming at first. After all, organizing the right corporate fundraising initiative to support your cause takes proper planning, creativity, numerous resources and time management skills. Yet, with the right planning tools and teamwork, your office can raise a large amount of money for a very worthy cause.
One of the first principles associated with corporate fundraising is identifying how much money you intend to raise, and what budget and resources you have (or need) to accomplish your goals. Run your fundraiser like a small business. Create a written project plan that spells out goals and outlines roles and responsibilities. Assign motivated individuals into managing roles and equip them with the tools to do a great job.
Taking adequate time to prepare your corporate fundraising event is also critical. Select your fundraising program as early as possible so your organization has time to identify fundraising sources, recruit participants and volunteers, create promotional materials and inform media, etc. You may wan to consider implementing an fundraising software solution to help you manage the various details of your corporate fundraising initiative including: registering participants and volunteers, collecting online donations, managing budgets, monitoring event check-lists, and creating administrative and progress reports for staff.
Corporate fundraisers happen throughout the year, so there is no reason why your organization can't create a truly unique fundraising experience for your employees and community. First and foremost, think about your organization's mission, and what you are trying to accomplish with your fundraiser, and then craft a theme that helps you communicate your cause.
Example: Say your organization launches a cause marketing program in support of wind-power. Your goal is to raise funds to off-set energy usage throughout your community with wind power. Rather than hosting a corporate walk-a-thon, why not host a "Wind-a-thon" and bring everyone together in a community park to fly kites and raise money in support of wind power. Perhaps you can hand out small wind-blowers with your corporate logo or balloons and have everyone release their balloons at once and watch as the "power of the wind" takes them away.
Unique ideas (such as this) will not only create a memorable fundraising event for staff, participants and event attendees, but may also help you attract the attention of local media and get you some free press! Check out creative fundraising event ideas for more information and ideas.
Motivating Your Team
Make sure that staff and participants know WHY the money is being raised, so they know they are contributing to a worthy cause. Motivate your team extrinsically with enthusiasm and incentives. For large fundraisers, provide prizes for top-performing participants or teams who raise the most. Create a fundraising website where participants and sponsors can share photos, quotes, and your organization can post a fundraising thermometer to track current progress against goals. Comparing goals to current progress are great motivators.
Make your fundraising event fun! Remember that participants and volunteers are giving up their free time to help. If you are planning a large fundraising event, provide meals and an exciting environment that people enjoy being a part of. If you don't have the budget for a large fundraising campaign, don't underestimate the value of smaller in-house corporate fundraising campaigns. One company created an interesting workplace fundraiser where employees were encouraged to bring in old gift certificates - either ones that were never used or had a small balance remaining. The company used a service to extract the additional dollars from these gift cards and donate these funds to a charitable cause. A corporate fundraising campaign like this may motivate employees intrinsically. They feel proud to work for a company contributing to charitable causes and striving to be more sustainable. And, they feel good about themselves for directly contributing to a worthy cause. If employees feel "good" about the company they work for, chances are, they may feel better about their work, which could help improve overall performance within your organization.